Enabling economic activity

To support economic activity across NSW, we are embedding technologies in all new and upgraded infrastructure, with data-enabled digital engineering practices, to gain a better return on investment in networks and services and to support successful places. Transport is doing this by:

  • Delivering and planning future assets: delivering portfolio of projects and strengthening long range planning processes to maximise available assets and funding.
  • Managing our assets and resources effectively: introducing new approaches to gain more from assets and resources across the whole lifecycle.
  • Moving goods productively and sustainably: using technology and data to improve supply chains and local area distribution.
  • Smarter financial decision-making: reshaping how investment is prioritised and driving effective procurement and commercial outcomes.
  • Modernising mobility regulation: creating the best regulatory environment to facilitate growth and innovation in the transport sector.
  • Opening up economic opportunity through transport solutions: connecting regional NSW to markets, employment and investment.

Delivering and planning future assets

Transport will harness rich, real-time insights from sensor data and intelligent systems to strengthen planning processes and maximise value from available assets and funding. NSW’s Smart Places Strategy and the Smart Infrastructure Policy commit to embedding technology and data-driven solutions in all new and upgraded infrastructure, to improve community outcomes and provide the best return on NSW’s infrastructure investments. This includes responding to changing customer needs, life cycle costing and technology innovation.

Transport will also supply the Digital Twin with a growing range of rich datasets on network assets, services, performance and customer use, which can be used by intelligent systems’ decision engines to improve transport planning, operations and delivery. They can also be used to test and predict future scenarios, and create 3D spatial representations that can visualise 4D past and future temporal changes. By visualising transport assets, services, performance and customers’ travel patterns in a shared location, we can enable better planning and operational decisions which deliver safer, faster and more reliable journeys for customers.

Managing our assets and resources effectively

Our smart sensors and intelligent systems generate and process data to help us better manage our network assets, services and resources more efficiently and effectively and to optimise operations and management for better customer outcomes. Drones and other sensors also help to monitor asset condition for more effective maintenance and repair programs across the asset lifecycle.

This includes the use of digital engineering processes to generate 3D Building Information Modelling, time, scheduling, cost, and asset data to analyse past and predict future operational and asset performance, in line with Transport’s Digital Engineering Framework.

Moving goods productively and sustainably

Another major priority for Transport is the use of technologies and data analytics to facilitate more efficient freight movements with improved supply chains and local area distribution. Transport’s Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023 supports the movement of goods for increased economic growth, productivity, safety and sustainability. There are valuable co-investment and partnership opportunities for the use of more data and technologies to facilitate a safer, more efficient and sustainable supply chain.

Transport will explore emerging automated and electric vehicles for urban deliveries and the role of automated vehicles for regional freight. Electric and hydrogen-fuelled vehicles support cleaner and quieter freight operations, which may enable more flexible and efficient deliveries, particularly for last-mile freight. Electric freight vehicles should also reduce operating costs for light and medium commercial vehicles.

Our commitment is that our entire truck sales range will be fossil-free by 2040 at the latest.

Roger Alm, President of Volvo Trucks

We will collect richer data on freight trends to better plan precincts and services with a more holistic view of the supply chain. We will also investigate the use of the SCATS and PTIPS to offer priority for heavy vehicles on primary freight corridors.

As a priority program, Transport will deliver a major technology and data uplift across the freight network to facilitate more efficient operations and help strengthen the economy and will work with industry partners to ensure that goods are moved more safely, productively and sustainably.

Smarter financial decision-making

Transport is reshaping how investment is prioritised to achieve our four Transport outcomes in Figure 4.1 above, and how we drive effective procurement and commercial results. Technologies and data analytics will be key to gaining a better return on investment in infrastructure and services and for better measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of service provision.

This includes applying whole-of-life costing and cost benchmarking to support better planning, design, delivery and operations and maintenance of the transport network, in particular for infrastructure assets where major investments can be optimised.

Modernising regulation

Transport is investigating opportunities to create the best regulatory environment to facilitate growth and innovation in the transport sector.

Emerging technologies can require regulatory updates to support the opportunities and benefits of new technologies, while mitigating against potential unintended consequences. That is why Transport is proactively managing its regulatory frameworks so they remain fit for purpose, technology neutral, outcomes-focused and responsive to customer and community needs. For example, legislation was passed in 2017 for the safe trialling of automated vehicles on NSW roads, including driverless vehicles.

Further, we will work proactively with the other jurisdictions to develop and harmonise national laws, regulations and standards, where applicable, to ensure that the benefits of technology across the transport sector are realised. For example, the ongoing work with the National Transport Commission to develop a national automated vehicle regulatory framework.

Similarly, in the point to point industry, including taxis, ridesharing and hire cars, technology developments have changed the nature of the services and business models, and has provided more consumer choice, improved products and services, safety and productivity benefits. In response to these changes, NSW established the Point to Point Transport Commission which operates as the industry regulator, and investigates how technology can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of regulatory operations and works with industry to improve safety systems with technologies. The Commission’s online portal allows industry to manage routine regulatory transactions, and provides real time information to help service providers meet their driver and vehicle safety obligations. The portal will link with NSW’s Tell Government Once interface, with a digital taxi licence planned to be available.

Opening up economic opportunity

Building smart technologies into infrastructure and services opens up further economic opportunities by making freight more productive, creating jobs for the future and providing valuable business development opportunities. Under its COVID-19 Recovery Plan, NSW is investing in major road, rail and freight infrastructure, with the added value of embedded technologies, such as sensors, Intelligent Transport Systems, real-time data analytics and smart motorways. NSW is also digitising transactions that save time and costs by replacing manual processes. Already, the NSW Digital Driver Licence has a 28 per cent uptake (or 1.6 million drivers).

Case study: Electric vehicles bring jobs and manufacturing to NSW

With increased confidence from NSW’s goal to electrify all of its 8,000 buses, two NSW bus suppliers and other Australian suppliers are investing locally in jobs and business development.

Nexport and investment group TrueGreen have partnered to establish a $700 million facility in NSW’s Southern Highlands for local production of electric vehicles, including buses. The advanced manufacturing facility in Moss Vale is expected to generate more than 2,000 new jobs over the next five years, and plans to be fully operational by late 2021.

Custom Denning is also gearing up to supply Australian designed and built electric buses, including battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric buses and has commenced a trial of the first NSW-built electric bus. The company is based in Western Sydney and aims to enhance local advanced manufacturing skills and jobs. The Bustech Group is also looking to establish a NSW-based manufacturing facility.

Future mobility technologies provide economic opportunities for NSW businesses to develop and commercialise new components and systems. For example, the expected increase in electric vehicle uptake is estimated to have major direct economic benefits, including a $2.9 billion increase in Australian real gross domestic product and the creation of 13,400 jobs by 2030, while saving consumers $1,700 each year in ownership costs6.

6 PwC (2018), Recharging the economy: The economic impact of accelerating electric vehicle adoption

As a major customer for technology suppliers, Transport works with advanced manufacturers in NSW who provide the most valuable and skill-intensive stages of production, including high-tech design and development, innovative research, product customisation, and support services. We also procure technologies at scale to improve cost and operational efficiencies, and minimise costs to taxpayers.

Greater use of transport technologies aligns with NSW’s trade and investment goals to strengthen our economic leadership by supporting local businesses and attracting multi-national corporations to establish local headquarters, including in regional areas.

NSW aims to be one of the top 10 start-up ecosystems in the world and to leverage the growing transport technology sector.